The Big Bang Theory and Its Implications

What is it?
The Big Bang Theory is a set of complex mathematical equations that describe the behavior of the universe immediately after its creation. It was derived directly from Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which describes how matter distorts space-time.

When this theory hit the scientific community, it did not gain acceptance at first mainly because it implied that our universe had a beginning, a moment of creation. This idea was contrary to most scientists at the time because the scientific community generally accepted the theory that the universe had always existed without having a beginning. About the only people at this time that actually believed that the universe was created at some finite time in the past were Christians. Even Einstein himself didn't believe his own equations and added a "fudge" factor to the equations so that it would give the result of a static universe, one without a beginning. He did this to be so that it would be consistent with his views and the views of the scientific community at the time. Later on, he stated that adding the "fudge" factor was "the biggest blunder of his life."

Time after
the Big Bang
Temperature
of the
Universe (Ko)
Status of the Universe
10-39 seconds
1029
Elementary particles
form (protons,
neutrons, electrons)
3 minutes
1 billion
Cools enough for
particles to form
into light elements
300,000 years
4000
Universe becomes
transparent to light
allowing radiation
to propagate freely
15 billion
years
(present)
2.7
Look through
a telescope!
What does it tell us?
The equations of Einstein's implied that the universe was expanding and getting larger in size. If this is so, then it had to be smaller and more condense in the past, and if you keep going back in time, you find that the universe reverts all the way back into a single point called a singularity. A singularity is a point of infinite density and infinite gravitation. At a singularity, space and time become infinitely distorted, meaning that they do not even exist in terms that we know them. From this one singularity came our entire universe. One might ask what happened before the beginning of the universe (before the explosion from the singularity). However, this cannot be answered because it is meaningless to say what happened before the universe was created when there was no time or space at all for something to happen in.

What caused it?
There is no equation to tell us exactly what caused the Big Bang or why the universe was created. The farthest we can look back is 10-39 seconds after the creation. This is a very small amount of time, but it gives us no insight as to a reason for our existence or a purpose for the universe.

A good number of scientists believe that the cosmos just came into existence from nothingness by accident like some kind of quantum fluctuation. This cannot be substantiated, though, because quantum fluctuations as we know them only occur in space and time. We have no laws or theories to tell us what happens in "nothing." So it is almost impossible to imagine how our universe came into existence without the help of a Creator.

Opposition
Despite how much the big bang theory has been used to illustrate the awesome power of God, there are always those who do not understand it well enough and oppose it. It seems that in the Christian community, scientific theories get distorted and confused. However, science was never meant to be dealt with from a supernatural context. That is what religion is for. Many think the big bang theory is a direct attack on christian beliefs from the scientific community. No doubt this has caused many to think of astronomy and cosmology as an evil and anti-christian field of study used by dark powers to cloud the minds of weak christians. Most opposers of the big bang are young-earth creationists, which are those who believe that God created the universe 6000 years ago, not 15 billion. This creation belief is usually mixed in with the belief that man once lived with dinosaurs. However, these ideas have been proven false by recent astronomical and geological research. Almost every method we use to date the age of our universe, whether it be through telescopes or microscopes, seems to tell us that the universe we live in is very, very old. Since the universe and everything in it is God's creation, you can only find truth in studying His creation.

Many have said that maybe the universe is only 6000 years old, but that God just made it look older. If this is true, then all the stars in the sky farther than 6000 light-years away wouldn't really exist. Neither would dinosaur fossils. They are all allegely an illusion whose sole purpose is to mislead us or to entertain humans, I guess. This is not true, though. If it were, it would mean that God has some hidden agenda and is purposely deceiving us. However, this is not the God of the Bible. The Bible encourages us to study God's works and their revealing truths about His character.

Symbolic, not literal
If the universe is very old, then the opening chapters of Genesis must be interpreted symbolically, not literally, with each creation day spanning a period of several billion years or less. If we look at each creation day, we see that they match up exactly with our scientific evidence about the events described in the Bible.

The Six Days of Genesis

Day Number Start of Day
(years B.P.)
End of Day
(years B.P.)
Bible's Description Scientific Description
One
15,750,000,000 7,750,000,000 The creation of the universe; light separates from dark (Gen 1:1-5) The big bang marks the creation of the universe; light literally breaks free as electrons bond to atomic nuclei; galaxies start to form
Two
7,750,000,000 3,750,000,000 The heavenly firmament forms
(Gen. 1:6-8)
Disk of Milky Way forms; Sun, a main sequence star, forms
Three
3,750,000,000 1,750,000,000 Oceans and dry land appear; the first life, plants, appear
(Gen. 1:9-13); this marked only the start of life, which then developed during the following days
The earth has cooled and liquid water appears 3.8 billion years ago followed almost immediately by the first forms of life: bacteria and photosynthetic algae
Four
1,750,000,000 750,000,000 Sun, Moon, and stars become visible in heavens (Gen. 1:14-19) Earth's atmosphere becomes transparent; photosynthesis produces oxygen-rich atmosphere
Five
750,000,000 250,000,000 First animal life swarms abundantly in waters; followed by reptiles and winged animals (Gen. 1:20-23) First multicellular animals; waters swarm with animal life having the basic body plans of all future animals; winged insects appear
Six
250,000,000 approx. 6,000 Land animals; mammals
(Gen. 1:24-31)
Massive extinction destroys over 90 percent of life. Land is repopulated: hominids and then humans
* All dates are approximated
** B.P. (abbreviated Before Present)

We can conclude that the history of the universe that we extrapolated from the big bang theory coincides precisely with that described in the first chapter of Genesis. There seems to be no conflict at all between the biblical description and the scientific one. This goes to show that the more advanced we become, the more we will see science echoing back what the Bible has been saying for millenia.

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References:

Schroeder, Gerald L., "The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom", The Free Press 1997, p.67-71.



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